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Howie Carr: A Bit Macabre (and Perhaps a Bit Sadistic?)

(Updated below)

I try not to listen to Howie Carr too much. But in the past several weeks, I’ve probably heard a bit too much. One of Carr’s schticks is this “death pool,” in which after a celebrity dies, people call in to give their guess as to who the next celebrity might be who “won’t be coming down for breakfast.” Just in the past two weeks there have been two “death pools,” after Ariel Sharon died, and after the Professor on Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson died. You see, because a caller guessed Johnson in the previous death pool, that caller wins a prize, and then they have a new death pool.

I am not. Making. This. Up.

Well, yesterday long-time local TV news anchor Chet Curtis died, and someone actually guessed his name in the previous death pool. He had been ill with cancer for over a year. At that time, the news about Curtis made it sound as though he could kick the bucket any time. But it took him this long. I think the same situation has been going on with Valerie Harper, who has been very ill for a long time, but there was talk a while ago that she could go at any time. Many listeners to the Howie Carr “death pool” are waiting with bated breath. (I think some of Carr’s eeriness and ghoulishness is catching on.)

Some common names suggested on the Howie Carr death pool have included Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, the Rev. Billy Graham, Hosni Mubarak, and Lindsay Lohan.

It is amazing that Howie Carr has been on for 20 years at the same time in the afternoons on WRKO, since replacing the great Jerry Williams in 1994. Go figure.

But yesterday following news of the death of TV news anchor Chet Curtis, one thing that Carr said when noting that they won’t be doing the death pool that afternoon was that we “can’t have too much of a good thing.” Like he implies that someone dying is a “good thing,” so that they can do another fun “death pool.” That is why I say this is way on the “macabre” side, and perhaps a bit sadistic.

Carr was not specific as to whether he would be having the next death pool this afternoon or Monday, or Tuesday, but it’s usually at the 4 PM hour, Eastern Time. You can hear it on AM-680 in the Boston area, or for those who are interested in hearing the “Howie Carr Death Pool.”

UPDATE: For those who are interested, Howie Carr said that the next death pool will be on Wednesday (1/29).

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